A five door hatchback is the best selling type of car in Europe and consequently the installation of HSD in Auris is the logical first step in deploying full hybrid technology across Toyota's entire European model line-up. By introducing the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, Toyota also aims to shift customer perceptions of hybrid technology. The obvious advantages are exceptional fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions, but customers will also experience smooth and sophisticated driving unlike any other family hatchback, thanks to the everyday usability, comfort and quietness of the Toyota full hybrid powertrain.
The Auris HSD Full Hybrid will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) at the Burnaston factory, near Derby, with sales scheduled to start during the second half of 2010.
The design of the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept reflects the installation of a full hybrid powertrain in a mainstream package. Subtle changes have been made to Auris's styling to improve aerodynamic efficiency and blue hybrid badging identifies the car as a member of Toyota's full hybrid fleet.
The front end is designed to optimise airflow and so help maximise fuel efficiency. The front and rear bumper corners have flat surfaces, a feature that not only accentuates the car's wide and solid stance, but also smoothes the flow of air over the vehicle's flanks, minimising turbulence and drag.
The ride height is lower by 20mm compared to the conventional Auris, and underbody panels and a rear diffuser have been fitted to smooth and control airflow beneath the car. The bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels are designed to cut air turbulence in the wheel arches and are shod with low rolling resistance tyres. A larger, more efficient rear spoiler is also fitted. These aerodynamic elements target a drag coefficient of 0.28.
The cabin has a number of special features that are linked to the car's full hybrid status. The seats and upper dashboard are finished in blue Gaucholino leather with light blue accent stitching. To complement the exterior body colour, the centre console and side air vents have a tactile, pearl white finish. The instrument cluster has hybrid blue illumination, with a design that combines high technology with easy-to-read displays. Alloy pedals reinforce the performance dimension of HSD technology and the steering wheel has a flat bottom section for easy driver access and better legroom.
Using the same powertrain as the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept is the first mainstream model in Europe to benefit from Toyota's refined, smooth and quiet Hybrid Synergy Drive.
The car will accelerate from nought to 62 mph in around 10 seconds, while returning class-leading combined cycle fuel economy and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions. It offers four driving modes, three of which can be selected on-demand by the driver: ECO mode maximises hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy; Power mode boosts performance; and EV mode (a feature only available with a full hybrid system) allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone for up to 1.25 miles (2km) at speeds up to 31mph, with zero fuel consumption and zero CO2 and particulates (PM) emissions.
Building on the inherent quietness of HSD, particular attention has been paid to further NVH reduction measures to achieve a calm, quiet cabin environment at all speeds. Road and engine noise have been suppressed by comprehensive use of soundproofing materials, and full thickness glazing and an acoustic windscreen reduce wind noise at cruising speeds.
Using technology that was first brought to the market in the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept marks a further development of solar powered ventilation, with solar panels covering the entire roof.
Similar technology is used inside the cabin, with solar panels on top of the dashboard that generate sufficient energy to recharge mobile phones or portable music plays mounted in purpose-designed charging trays. In the future, Toyota aims to advance this technology to provide solar powered recharging of the hybrid battery.
Further energy-saving measures include the use of LED technology for the front and rear lights.